- When you tour a home, think outside the box and beyond the paint color; paint color is a quick and inexpensive fix. Allow yourself to see beyond the seller’s possessions and style. Pay more attention to things like floor plan, flow and structure.
- Consider the age and condition of the roof, heating and cooling systems, all of which are very expensive to replace.
- Consider the quality and value of the seller’s improvements.
- Pay attention to the position of the home on the lot; consider things like drainage, sunlight, privacy.
- Once you’ve decided to start looking for a home, don’t make any major purchases or let credit card balances grow; you’ll want to keep your credit score as high as possible to ensure that you qualify for the best loan at the best terms.
- Gather 2 years of tax returns, 2 months of bank statements and a recent pay stub
- Meet with a Sterling Real Estate-referred lender to get pre-approved
- Create your wish list and home selection criteria
- Browse your listing cart - an online bank of available homes that Sterling Real Estate provides to match your needs
- Tour homes and neighborhoods
- Choose a house
- Work with Sterling Real Estate to prepare a written offer
- Submit offer with an earnest money check & pre-approval letter
- Receive a counter offer or an acceptance
- Order a home inspection from a Sterling Real Estate-referred licensed inspector
- Complete loan application by submitting your written offer and any missing documents to your lender
- Respond to inspection: accept property as-is, request repairs, or walk away
- Work with Sterling Real Estate to review and approve the preliminary title report
- Remove all remaining contingencies
- Schedule closing date and time
- Order wire transfers for anything greater than $10,000
- Transfer utilities to your name
- Receive your approved loan
- Get the keys to your new home!
- Do a final walk-through inspection with Sterling Real Estate to ensure the house condition is as agreed
Earnest money: A deposit you make to show that you are serious about buying a house. This money is held until the transaction is complete, at which time it goes toward the sale.
Mortgage escrowed funds: Amount built into your mortgage payment that enables the lender to pay your homeowners insurance and property taxes on your behalf.
Homestead and Mortgage tax deductions: The most common tax deductions available if the home will be your primary residence and/or if you hold a mortgage. Contact your county tax auditor for more information.
HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Statement: A form used by the title company to itemize all incoming and outgoing funds for both the borrower and seller for a real estate transaction.
MLS (Multiple Listing Service): Compilation of available homes in a standard online format that makes it easy for you to search for a home that suits your needs.
- Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): A mortgage in which the interest changes periodically, according to corresponding fluctuations in an index.
- Conventional mortgage: Refers to home loans other than government loans (VA and FHA).
- Fixed-rate mortgage: A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
- For a comprehensive list of real estate terms, click here.